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Wednesday, July 13. 2016
and here is an article: Most Of All We Hate The Experts Because They’re Always Wrong - If the experts got their remedies right, we would be a happy country with few problems, and they would deserve to feel superior.
I am always a skeptic because it has served me well thus far in life - and because experts often lack common sense and they often fall in love with ideas.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:10 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
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“The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Used to be the "experts" understood they were limited in practical knowledge.
I came across this today and was surprised at the self awareness of the author.
The welfare of the cultivator may be affected for good or for evil by the actions of two distinct classes, the officials with whom he has to deal and the landholders (or their subordinates) under whom he holds his land. The two classes have at least one feature in common, that they know very much less of the cultivator’s business than he knows himself. It is true that the observant man may, in the course of time, collect a mass of information on the subject, but the process is in any case slow, the power of independent observation is comparatively rare, and thus it happens that even experienced land agents and officials may do a great deal of harm merely from ignorance and thoughtlessness. The present volume has been compiled with the object of supplying an introduction to the subject which may be of use to all who have to deal with the cultivator, not by saving them the trouble of observing for themselves, but by furnishing them, so to speak, with a framework on which they can arrange the knowledge they acquire.
--The Agriculture of the United Provinces: An Introduction for the Use of Landholders and Officials
By William Harrison Moreland 1904
"making conditions far worse than they were before and destroying lives in the process."
Simply not true. While predictions rarely work out as predicted, conditions now are far better overall than they were in the past (though that's changing through the deliberate actions of the current elite).
People just look at the past through rose coloured glasses, remembering only the fun times and not the hardship.
E.g. people have more and better food now, at all levels of sustenance (famine is down, health is up, relative to what those people would have had in the past). Crime is down (especially violent crime).
Income overall is way up, even though reduced by far higher taxes (which were put in deliberately quite often to reduce economic growth "to manageable levels" (which is not a good idea, but that's leftist Keynesian economics for you).
Like my old department head used to say when I was a newly minted microbiologist back in the '50s, "I'm making the same now as I made teaching school in west Texas in 1934, just barely enough to get by on".
What a ridiculous article. What utter nonsense. He basis his assumption that because "experts" in his field are wrong, all experts in all other fields must be wrong too.
Thousand of experts in their fields have improved the lives and conditions of humans around the world just as J.T.W. mentioned. Of course experts are smarter, that's why they are experts. Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla, Stephen Hawking just to name a few - all experts in their fields. No flash mob is going to suddenly come up with better concept of the theory of relativity.
The plebs have proven their mass stupidity any countless number of times. Even today, that the concept of a "flat earth" is even up for discussion proves that point.
Greg Scandlen may be an expert in his limited field, but he's obviously an idiot when it comes to all others.
To be fair to "experts", by the time their conclusions are filtered by the media, they are often misreported or misinterpreted either by extrapolation gone wild or the sins of omission.
Also, there is an assumption, sometimes unjustified, that if someone is smart and knowledgeable about one thing,that person is smart about everything.
What is an expert/ Is it just someone who is credentialed? There are experts and then there are wonks whose main claim to fame is having read and parroted a few white papers.
Didn't, Galton, determine that the masses collectively, frequently get it right? It was very much to his dismay. Also, isn't that what markets do?
I don’t know who said it first but science is a tool more than a body of knowledge, and that body of knowledge is in constant flux. There were several articles a while back reporting on how many peer reviewed articles have been recanted and/or withdrawn. Don’t forget that academia is all about getting published, and padding the resume. Since all the low hanging fruit, that speaks to any kind of recognizable reality, is long gone, the pressure is on to be more arcane, even bizarre and perverse, aka sexy and faux "avant garde" or hide behind metadata.
Between conflicts of interest, competition for tenure and grants (regardless of source: public/private), coopted peer review, peer pressure, the 15 minutes of fame allure, fiddling with the data, the CULT of models/algorithms, I don’t think you have to be a flat-earther to be skeptical of science/academia, and not just the soft sciences. But, I am sympathetic to scientists; I believe, all those folks who piggy back on the work of others, media and activists, share the blame. Have you ever read a scientific paper that didn’t limit its conclusion to a very specific set of parameters? By the time it reaches the general media and internet, these qualifying conditions and caveats are lost, and instead we read wildly extrapolated conclusions and broad generalizations. Think of the junk that is lumped under nutrition. Is there anything at all that is not a panacea or in which we are not deficient? Not to mention all the studies that have been conflated, especially irksome to a linear person, like me. Think AGW or fracking.
Academia is especially malicious toward any sort of apostasy and diversity.
"making conditions far worse than they were before and destroying lives in the process"
This made me think of the mess that is study of nutrition.